Infection with the herpes simplex virus, commonly known as herpes, can be due to either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral to oral contact and cause infection in or around the mouth (oral herpes). However, HSV-1 can also be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact to cause genital herpes.
HSV-2 is almost exclusively sexually transmitted, causing infection in the genital or anal area (genital herpes).
Most infected people are unaware that they have the infection.
- The global response to STI is currently guided by the Global health sector strategy on sexually transmitted infections, 2016 -2021.
- WHO and partners are working to accelerate research to develop new strategies for prevention and control of genital and neonatal HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections, including the development of HSV vaccines. Several candidate vaccines are currently being studied.
- In 2016 WHO launched the Guidelines for the Treatment of Genital Herpes Simplex Virus, which provides updated treatment recommendations for genital herpes based on the most recent evidence.